She Walks in Beauty

She Walks in Beauty

by: George Gordon (Lord) Byron (1788-1824)

HE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

By all accounts Lord Byron wasn’t all that respected by his peers but he certainly cut a dash in his world. And in the modern world we read his poetry and other works. His lover, Lady Caroline Lamb, famously described him as “mad, bad and dangerous to know” and we pay homage to him by using that phrase even today. The thing about Byron is that – love him or hate him – he definitely wasn’t someone you could ignore or forget.

I wonder at the things we find unforgettable. A woman such as the one Byron describes in She Walks in Beauty wouldn’t likely be forgotten by anyone and might even be immortalized in print, on canvas or film or through awards won. For myself, I don’t expect to be immortalized in any way. However, there are people in my life who, although they’ve no idea of it and no one would likely be able to tell with any real certainty, have been immortalized within my body of work. They may not have made an impression on the world at large but they made an impression on me and that led to them – or some small part of them – being used in one of my books.

I’m no Byron. My work isn’t likely to be read centuries from now as his is. But I still like to think that I’ve given a taste of immortality to those whom I’ve put into a book. And I thank them for whatever it was about them that captured my imagination enough to lead me to put them in a book because it was never an idea I came up with on my own but rather something they said or did that captivated me. So I thank you all for the inspiration you’ve given me, continue to give me and will give me in the future. Who needs a muse when they have friends!

So now that I’m done being weird today, I have a Marcus for you and then I’m off to tame my Monday.

Hope you all have a great day!



I’m bushed. My body aches. I walked forever yesterday in West Hollywood with authors Z.A. Maxfield and James Buchanan. We went to the West Hollywood Book Fair to look around, attend a panel and meet fellow MLR Press author Haley Walsh who also writes as Jeri Westerson. The panel was on the second floor of the West Hollywood Library and the plate glass windows behind Jeri offered a view of the Pacific Design Center and the gorgeous LA day. (See photo below.) We saw Meredith Baxter Birney, Florence Henderson, Kevin Sorbo, Julie Newmar and some actors whose names we couldn’t remember. I recognized D.P. Lyle, a local physician who is a writer and a consultant on many TV shows. He’d been to a meeting of the OC Romance Writers of America and talked to us about plotting the perfect murder. I bought a copy of his book Forensics for Writers.

The most interesting person we met was Christopher Rice. I spent my late teens and early twenties devouring his mother’s books. My sister gave me a copy of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire on my 17th birthday and I was hooked. Christopher is a New York Times best-selling author in his own right, in a genre different than his mother’s. He was charming, funny, intelligent and not ego bound at all. In fact, he didn’t even talk about his books until someone asked. He moderated a panel on marketing GLBT mystery books and he let the authors on the panel talk about their books and answer the questions about marketing. He let them shine and only got into his own work when asked. He’s a very good looking man who is extremely charismatic. It pretty much made my day to meet him.

But, to be honest, it was a lot for me, my arthritis and my asthma to deal with. I had a couple of moments where I thought I’d never be able to take another breath or another step. James and ZAM looked after me though and let me stop for a breather and plied me with water and Coke so I could re-hydrate and pop meds. It’s great to have good friends. They rode elevators UP with me and made sure I was okay to walk DOWN stairs. It was a great day. Only now, I’m a tad sunburnt and sore and utterly bushed.

The sunburn’s just a smidge of red on my chest below my collarbone. Early on I found a parasol with skulls on it and bought to keep the sun off. It’s a very cool wooden parasol. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized I could have taken my Ellora’s Cave “Bad Girls of Romance” umbrella with me and garnered a little attention for myself. LOL

I did do an unusually not me thing though. I brought attention to myself by speaking up. Man, I have a tough time doing that in public but I did it. When Christopher Rice asked if anyone in the audience did book trailers, my hand shot right up and I said I wrote as Lex Valentine for MLR Press and I did videos from my design site That was bold of me. I’m not sure what came over me. It’s more my style to just sit there dumbly and not say anything.

One other noteworthy thing: I left my car at home and let Rott drop me off to meet ZAM who drove to James’s house. (James drove into WeHo.) That means ZAM is now the only one of my author and online friends to have met the elusive Rott. At least she can attest that I really do have a handsome man in my life and that he’s not just something I made up so it doesn’t look like I’m an old spinster lady. LOL

All in all, a great day for me that I’ll be paying for today with fistfuls of Tylenols. But it was worth it.

Now, some yummeh Marcus for a Monday and I’m off to work!

Oh, baby! Sexy stuff! That’s a gorgeous photo of Marcus. Have yourselves a great Monday!

For the Puppy Monster

I’m back from moving into my new house and killing off my desktop computer. The new computer is amazing and I didn’t lose any files so all’s well that ends well there.

I’m blogging today instead of Monday for a reason. Today is an anniversary for a blogger friend, but it’s an anniversary no parent should ever have. Please, hug your children today. Mine is flying off to Wisconsin for her school break and believe me, I’ll be giving her extra hugs. And this summer, if your kids are around any bodies of water, please be extra safe and extra vigilant. My heart goes out to those parents who have lost a child and today, it bleeds for Dave, New York City Watch Dog, who lost his puppy monster four years ago.


Sending many hugs to NYCWD today,

Conference Moments

As you all know, I went to the Romantic Times Book Lovers convention this past week. It was my first convention and also my first as a published author. I had a great time mostly because I had very cool people to hang out with. The workshops turned out to not be my thing but a lot of that had to do with the fact that I was on sensory overload and I wouldn’t have remembered a damn thing from a workshop. I went to the lunches and balls and cocktail parties and mixers. And I hung out in the Lobby Court with a lot of very cool authors.

I didn’t have to fly to the conference because it was in L.A. at the Bonaventure Hotel. Rott drove me there and picked me up and I roomed with Cat Grant. Here’s some conference moments that were the highlights for me.

Kate Douglas taking me under her wing

Faye Hughes’ stories of southern ladies over margaritas.

Jesse who manned the goody bag room remembering my name (amongst all those attendees), coming up to me in the Lobby Court and showing me a photo of himself shirtless in the snow.

Z.A. Maxfield and her wardrobe malfunction.

Belinda McBride talking about hot sex and the fire alarm going off.

Cherise Sinclair and her thing for mashed potatoes.

Lynn Lorenz teaching her son to lie.

Stephani Hecht and her ugly, bald pussy(cat.)

The Olvera Street Adventure.

Realizing C.J. Hollenbach’s hair was just as long as Rott’s.

Hugging Jimmy Thomas who really is a big man and seeing Brooks Johnson who isn’t nearly as big as I imagined.

Reassuring Pepper Espinoza that she wasn’t a sloppy drunk at the MLR Press cocktail party.

Sitting with stinky cheese and Tales fan Carol Brown at the ARe cocktail party.

Getting hot coffee tipped down my shirt at the Kensington morning mixer.

Discovering on Twitter that the Kindle and Nook we’d found in the lobby court belonged to Jane of Dear Author.

Amaretto Sours and Creme Brulee Cheesecake with the girls.

Finding more corn than there is in Iowa at the Mr. Romance competition.

Having my boobs poked by wings at the Faery Ball.

Being hugged by Desiree Holt at the EC party.

Finally meeting Dee Carney and her sniffles.

Getting teeth from James Buchanan.

Carnival barker self-published authors.

Taking photos of Jessica Trapp with handsome men.

Finding myself directly across from Kerrilyn Sparks at the book fair signing.

Tessa Dare telling me that she used me and ZAM to pimp out the OCC chapter.

Finding half the restaurants and stores in the hotel closed when we wanted something.

Laura Baumbach’s son the marketing genius.

Learning so much about the industry, the publishers, agents, and being an author from sitting around talking to everyone.

There’s more. Oh so much more but I’m still on overload so you’ll have to forgive me for not listing about a thousand other memories of this conference.

I have a Marcus for you and then I’m off to the office.

Oh,  hello! Aren’t  you lovely? HEH.

Many thanks to all of you who commented on my snapshots from the convention over on Facebook. I’ll try to turn on Twitter a bit more often now to keep all my new followers entertained. Hopefully, I’ll recover quickly from the con and not end up with conference crud either.

Have a great Monday!


Over the years, I’ve belonged to different groups on the internet. They always seem to fade away at some point. Not so much because people get bored with what the group does, although I’m sure there’s a portion that do, but because the dynamics of the group change. Back when Rott and I belonged to, the group started splintering because of new people joining and fights and wars that broke out. It wasn’t fun anymore so some people stopped going. That changed the dynamic of the group the extent that it wasn’t fun for other people anymore either and they stopped going.

At the horse racing sim, I’ve seen that happen with different residencies and groups within the game. I still play although I seem to be able to only play for about six or seven months out of the year. I go on hiatus around the holidays and have trouble getting back to the game before the Derby. And I miss the people there when I don’t play. The problem is that the dynamic has changed so much that I’m not the only one who doesn’t go there daily to post or chat. We’ve all gotten sporadic about it. But every time I think of giving my stables to Fabman and TBS, I can’t. Not ready to let go I suppose. I love the game too much despite my lack of time for it.

The same thing happened with the Bar, the serial story where I used to write. It’s happened to Yahoo groups I belonged to. It’s even happened somewhat here in the Blogosphere. Sure, Dave still does what Dave has always done. You can always count on him to post. Karl still does his causes and talks about his angst. Gooster still posts hotties. Hilly still talks about her emotions. Marty still talks about music. Jester does his American Idol updates. I’m still here with my Marcuses. It just seems – with the exception of Dave – that we all do it less than we used to.

Rather than bemoan the fact that things aren’t the same as they used to be – and really who wants to be in stasis anyway? – I’m just glad to know that I belong. And I’ve had great places to belong and friends to belong with. And if they come around here once in awhile and say HI as Trotter from the sim did a week or so ago, well then, that’s something that I cherish. Those friendships, that warmth, that belonging. And it never goes away really, even if the group does. It’s always still there in your heart. You just have to remember to take it out and look at it and hug it once in awhile.

And now, as I always do on Monday, I have a Marcus!

I’m outta here. Lots of work to do at the cemetery. So everyone have a great Monday!

PS: Marty…way to go on the writing! Go, Marty! Go, Marty!